Yo-yo man April re-emerges for Sharks
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The yo-yo man of South African rugby Garth April has been included in the Sharks' provisional pre-season training squad ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.
The 25-year-old flyhalf, who was still playing club rugby last year for Durbanville-Bellville, featured strongly for the Sharks during this year's Super Rugby before being selected in Allister Coetzee's first Springbok squad of the year for the three-Test series against Ireland in June.
April did not feature in that series and instead represented the SA 'A' team in their two-match series against the England Saxons.
Surprisingly, April did not feature at all during the Sharks' Currie Cup Premier Division campaign with head coach Robert du Preez opting for Inny-Christian Radebe and Curwin Bosch as his choices at flyhalf.
Joining April in the provisional training squad are several new faces, which includes former Stormers duo Kobus van Wyk and Jacques Vermeulen.
Other newcomers include prop Enoch Mnyaka from the EP Kings, Southern Kings centre Jeremy Ward and Namibia/Leopards centre Johan Deysel (two years).
Players that left the Sharks during the last 12 months includes Bismarck du Plessis (Montpellier), Jannie du Plessis (Montpellier), Dale Chadwick (Narbonne), Kyle Cooper (Newcastle Falcons), Tjiuee Uanivi (Glasgow Warriors), Marcell Coetzee (Ulster), Jacques Potgieter (Bulls), Renaldo Bothma (Bulls), Paul Jordaan (La Rochelle), JP Pietersen (Leicester Tigers), Willie le Roux (Wasps).
Wandile Mjekevu has been loaned to the Southern Kings for next year's Super Rugby season, while Heimar Williams has retired.
"Our squad officially assembled today [Monday] to start pre-season training," said Sharks head coach Robert du Preez.
"A structured pre-season programme has been drawn up to ensure that our players' fitness and skill set is right up there, once the tournament commences."
The Sharks begin their 2017 Super Rugby campaign with a match against the Reds in Brisbane on February 24.
Sharks provisional training squad:
Forwards: Tendai Mtawarira, Mahlatse Ralepelle, Coenie Oosthuizen, Daniel du Preez, Enoch Mnyaka, Etienne Oosthuizen, Franco Marais, Francois Kleinhans, Lubabalo Mtyanda, Hyron Andrews, Jacques Vermeulen, Jean Deysel, Jean Droste, John-Hubert Meyer, Jean-Luc du Preez, Juan Schoeman, Keegan Daniel, Khaya Majola, Lourens Adriaanse, Mzamo Majola, Philip van der Walt, Ruan Botha, Stephan Coetzee, Stephan Lewies, Lubabalo Mtembu, Thomas du Toit.
Backs: Andre Esterhuizen, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Cobus Reinach, Curwin Bosch, Clement Poitrenaud, Garth April, Ilunga Mukendi, Inny-Christian Radebe, Jeremy Ward, Johan Deysel, Kobus van Wyk, Lukhanyo Am, Lwazi Mvovo, Marius Louw, Michael Claassens, Odwa Ndungane, Patrick Lambie, Rowan Gouws, Rhyno Smit, Sibusiso Sithole, Sibusiso Nkosi, Tristan Blewett.